By Tim Stannard
Rib injury still niggles Neymar as Champions League curse continues for Brazilian player
The February curse of Neymar continues.
The Brazilian, who tends to go absent in the final third of the season with PSG - the important third - either through injury, suspension, carnival, sister's birthday, own birthday could be missing once again at the most crucial time of the season for the French club.
The Champions League is the be-all and end-all for a team of PSG's impressive poaching prowess. However, a testing tie against Borussia Dortmund next Tuesday is set to be that little bit harder with Thomas Tuchel revealing on Wednesday that he could not "confirm 100%" that Neymar would play in the Champions League clash due to an ongoing rib injury that has seen Neymar absent from the PSG squad since the player's birthday party.
That absence wasn't a problem in Wednesday's 6-1 Coupe de France quarterfinal win against Dijon after which Tuchel was speaking, but it could be against a free-scoring German team with Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho in the attack.
Neymar was missing for three of the four Champions League knockout games available in his time with PSG. And Neymar was missing for the first two games in this season's Champions League group stages due to suspension that involved social media. Not to be confused with the suspension where Neymar pushed the fan.
Saint Etienne will be looking to join PSG, Lyon and Rennes in the semifinals of the Coupe de France with a clash against third-tier side, Epinal, that is live on beIN SPORTS CONNECT at 3PM ET.
Barcelona's mega-million budget and crucial Copa clash
LaLiga have released the latest salary cap limits to the clubs in the top division. Based on a complex calculation involving revenue, costs, lunar cycles and tendency to waste huge amounts of money on forward players (sorry Atletico Madrid) Barcelona are still top of the tree with a limit of a mere $729 million that the side is able to spend on players' wages per year. However will they manage?
That figure is a little bit more than Real Madrid which has to make do with $696 million. These sums put into perspective the salary cap of the club that is currently in third in LaLiga and that's Getafe, which is only able to spend $60 million on footballers. That's roughly....er....ten times less than Barcelona.
The two teams are facing off on Saturday at 10AM ET live on beIN SPORTS and a footballer that is currently playing for Getafe - Angel Rodriguez - could be adding to Barcelona's salary bill.
The 32-year-old who has scored nine league goals this season for Getafe is one of the targets reportedly being looked at in Barca's bid to make an 'emergency' signing, triggered by the double injuries to Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele. That decision from a medical tribunal on that request is expected within the next 72 hours, says the Spanish press.
The Sports Burst live show will be looking at Getafe and all the other teams that can make the Champions League places in LaLiga this season, ahead of a whopper of a match on Friday at 3PM which sees Valencia hosting Atletico Madrid.
That's Barcelona of Ecuador in the Copa Libertadores, just one game in another big night of South American football across the network. Liverpool were on last night, FYI.